Music: Exploring Drums & Found Sound

Homemade musical instruments are always a lot of fun and they’re even more fun when you can play them in a multitude of ways.
We made our own drums to help illustrate the idea that music can come from anywhere!
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We began by reading Drum City by Thea Guidone. It begins with a boy drumming in his yard with a pot and spoons. Soon, people begin to join him, each bringing their own “found” drum until an entire parade was formed.
My girls were in love and were ready to create their own drums.
Supplies Needed:
Empty canisters (bread crumb, oatmeal, coffee, etc.)
Construction paper (enough to cover your canister)
To make our drums, we took construction paper, cut it to size and taped it around our canisters.
Our paper was not quite large enough to fit around the canister, so we had to piece it together with a couple of different strips of paper.
The girls then used stickers, markers, and crayons to decorate their drums.
Once they were ready, it was time to play.
They experimented with the different sounds.
It sounded different on the sides of the canister than it sounded on the bottom. It also sounded different when they banged with their fists than it did when they used the palms of their hands.
After experimenting with sounds, we turned on some music and started drumming. We marched, we drummed, and we enjoyed our found sound.

As an additional example, I found this video clip from Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. In the clip, Mr. Rogers visits with the cast of Stomp and they show him how they can make music with a variety of objects.

We loved our “found” sound!

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Terri is a writer and mom of two elementary-aged girls. She has a passion for learning and is always looking for ways to make learning fun. You can find her at Better Than Homework where she shares fun learning activities or Creative Family Fun where she shares art, craft, and family fun ideas.

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